When we think about fitness, we often think about washboard abs, toned biceps, Carrie Underwood’s legs or those ridiculous 7-day challenges we all have pinned to our workout boards on Pinterest (guilty). Have you ever thought that fitness could have a little less to do with a number on a scale, a pant size or a “goal body” and a little more to do with faith?
Hear me out.
Much like the Holy Trinity, God designed us to be a whole made up of three distinct yet intimately connected parts: body, soul and spirit.
We often don’t think of our physical body as having a connection to our relationship with God or our presence on Earth as Christians, but our bodies were created for so much more than we can even imagine.
The human body is the most complex organism in the world - pieced together with atoms, cells, brain waves, organ systems, bones and muscles. With these bodies God made us able to walk, talk, hug, sing, heal and as women, create and carry a new life within us.
You could say our bodies are pretty dang cool.
When your physical body was filled with your soul, you became truly one of a kind. Your body provided a vessel for your soul to fill, directing your personality, actions, behaviors, thinking and emotions.
Within your soul lies your spirit, created to contain your unique purpose in God’s plan. This purpose gives meaning to everything your soul directs your body to do. When it comes to our three parts, one cannot truly thrive without the strength of the others.
For example, let’s think about stress for a second. When we feel stressed, it can take a serious toll on our bodies. Our energy levels can plummet, our hair falls out, we eat less, we eat more. A strong trust in God is the only truly satisfying cure for our worries. Without this faith in the Lord, stress would continue to amplify within our bodies, negatively affecting our behaviors and personality.
Likewise, working towards positive changes in our bodies through fitness and self care keeps our mental and physical wellness in check, allowing us to focus our energy, thoughts and time into growing our relationship with God.
See how it works?
By making conscious efforts to strengthen all three parts together, we can drastically improve our livelihood and well-being.
"God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would they body be?
As it is there are many parts, but one body."
1 Corinthians 12:18-20
Strengthening Your Body: Whether you work out every day, gave up on your New Year’s goals already or haven’t worked out in months, recognizing the amazing abilities God created your body for can give you a newfound motivation.
Exercise should be something you look forward to doing every day - so find an activity or two (or three!) that you really enjoy! Check out free classes at a local yoga or barre studio, a group program at the gym, train for a race, swim laps, lift weights, cycle or try Zumba. There are so many different ways to get active, find the one that works best for you!
Being active, in any form, does a great job of clearing your head and channeling your focus. Use some of this time to focus on God and the things that might be weighing on your mind. Have a conversation with Him, invite Him and all your worries into your workout and finish feeling refreshed and energized.
As Christians we are called to not only pursue God ourselves, but encourage those around us to do the same. That idea is behind everything we do here at S&G because we know that big things can come from even the smallest of conversations. In fact, it’s the very core of our mission:
“To start conversations about things that matter.”
Which is why we are SO excited about the launch of our new workout line, a collection that brings Jesus with you to the gym. Not only will the messages motivate you, we hope they spark a conversation with that girl on the treadmill next to you.
Still don’t know where you want to begin on your fitness journey? We’ve got you covered, girlfriend! We just wrapped up filming a trio of workout videos for our lifestyle channel, featuring a few of our favorites gals (and starring our new tanks!). Sign up today to see them, along with tons of other cool tutorials! Who knew fitness and faith could be so fun!?
Strengthening Your Soul: Your soul is a lot like a muscle. It takes persistent work and dedication to keep it healthy and growing. Flex your soul muscle each day by making a conscious effort to keep your thoughts, actions and emotions positive. Ever heard the saying, “put good in, get good out?”
That’s exactly what your soul needs to flourish. Good thoughts lead to good emotions and good emotions lead to good actions. Let your actions and your presence serve others as an outward expression of inward contentment - the kind of satisfaction that is only possible with the constant awareness of God’s good works in our daily lives. (Seriously, they’re everywhere!)
Strengthening Your Spirit: Our spirit defines our purpose in life and the way God plans to combine our physical bodies and our souls for His glory. We weren’t made to be happy accidents. We weren’t randomly given the talents and quirks that make us special.
Our individual paths have already been cleared for us by the Lord and they lead us to places we can’t even imagine yet. In order to reach our destination, we must stay the course. We must pray regularly and talk to God about what direction He wants us to take. Sometimes we just have to trust God and take the uphill road instead of the scenic one. He never promised it would be an easy journey, but He did say it would be worth it.
Body, Soul, Spirit: When we grow and strengthen all three parts, we are glorifying God by caring for the body he built us and using the abilities he chose for us as tools to spread His Word. There is no limit to what we can do as believers when we pursue our strength through the Lord, physically, mentally and spiritually.
“For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- Philippians 4:13